Isn't it about time we all take a look in the mirror and ask, "what are we doing"? "What's wrong with us?"
Usually the words "This country (or world) is going to hell" are uttered by Baby Boomers who grew up in a better time and are upset, saddened and frustrated when they look at how things are now. But more and more, younger generations are feeling the same thing.
The ironic part is that most of what's wrong with our world - the big things and the little things - is our fault. At the risk of sounding like a radical environmentalist holding a up a sign in front of the Capitol, we've ecologically beaten this planet up so much we shouldn't be surprised with where we're at.
We pollute our air in the name of progress without giving it a second thought. Our industrial factories send plumes of ozone layer-killing smoke and toxins into our atmosphere every day. We wipe out carbon dioxide-absorbing trees, we kill forests - either by taking away the trees or burning them down because some yahoo flicked a lit cigarette out the window of their gas-guzzling SUV.
We pollute our waters. We blindly toss away car batteries where we think no one will discover them and try to hide old, broken down freezers or fridges in groves, sometimes near a river that, in turn, gets polluted by battery acid or freon, or some other kind of nasty chemical.
We leave lights on all over the place and crank up the air conditioning because it's too humid. They're called windows - open them. We celebrate Earth Day by driving to an event in a vehicle that gets 11 miles to the gallon. And someone please tell me why Styrofoam cups are still even being manufactured?
We drill for oil on the ocean floor and then watch in horror as hundreds to thousands of gallons of leaking oil turn a body of water into a giant, black blob of devastation, and then ask ourselves, "How could something like this happen?" Well, it's a giant drill. Things are going to happen. Should we really be all that surprised when something goes wrong?
I can hear the ducks, otters and jellyfish now: "God, look at what they've done, those stupid humans. What a #&!)@#%! mess. We should gasp, gurgle, gurgle." Plenty of important vegetation is in danger down south, too, but we all know plants can't talk.
We're so good at destroying things that somehow we find ways to wipe out what has been around for eons. We're the reason there's an endangered species list.
Sea turtles have a life expectancy of 80 years and have been on earth for more than 100 million years. They even survived dinosaurs when they became extinct. But it looks like they've met their match with us humans.
We're our own worst enemy, and we're hypocrites to boot. Then when the earth fights back with a devastating hurricane our federal government chokes and we grumble about gas prices.
Why do we do all this? Because we're humans; it's our planet and we'll cry if we want to. We're spoiled and selfish. When a volcano goes off sending thick ash into our skies - something no one has control over - all we do is complain because our flight got cancelled. We've got it too good and we keep wanting more.
The sliver of good news is that even though we're all guilty of crimes against the earth, many are trying to do something about it by changing the way they live - their habits, their attitudes. Millions more people are recycling now than they were 20 years ago. But let's be honest here: We little people doing our little things aren't going to make as much of a positive impact as one giant oil spill's negative one will make. We take two steps ahead by separating our aluminum, putting up a wind tower, and building a solar house, then get pushed back four steps into an ocean filled with oil.
We plant our trees, but hundreds more come down every day at our hands. We're basically in a battle against each other. Still, because we care about the earth, we need to keep doing the good things, no matter how small and insignificant they might appear to be. We owe it to our earth to do so, because we're the problem. But can we provide the solution?
Some say the world will come to an end sometime in 2012. Others would argue it's already happening. Whenever it happens, at least we know who to blame.